To the dismay of New York sports fans, no New York professional team has lifted the championship trophy and been honored with a ribbon ribbon at a parade at the Canyon of Heroes in over a decade. Who will be next?
Yankee superstar Aaron Judge will receive the keys to New York City from Mayor Eric Adams at a town hall ceremony in the near future. That’s nice after his AL record of 62 hours last year helped earn him MVP honors. But where are the rest of his teammates?
But over the past decade, our sports team has been more annoyance than triumph. Back in 2009, the entire Yankees team got their very own keys to winning the World Series.
But lately? Certainly, the Mets overachieved in 2015 and reached the World Series – before losing in five games. The Rangers have flirted with the Stanley Cup on several occasions. The Nets talked about a good game and a stellar campaign before injuries derailed them last year due to internal squabbles and vaccine mandates.
Considering Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, and the National Hockey League, the city hasn’t had a league championship since the Giants won the Super Bowl in February 2012. The WNBA’s Liberty has also disappointed its fan base. .
This is a very long drought for the city that never sleeps.
So, what local franchise will reward us next with a heroism and parade in the Canyon of Heroes? Yankees? Mets? Freedom? Rangers? networks? Planes (just kidding – I threw in sad planes to make sure you were still paying attention). It should be remembered that the Jets had their only Super Bowl victory on January 12, 1969.
So, which team has the best chance of winning it all?
I pick the Mets: Sure, they lost on Carlos Correa who returned to the Twins after Los Mets didn’t like something in his repaired ankle. But Steve Cohen’s team, which won 101 games in 2022 before bowing out in the first round of the playoffs, is an even stronger team this year in the eyes of many — myself included — even without Korea’s relegation. In baseball, pitching means just about everything, and it’s hard to bet on the combination of Justin Verlander, who was knocked out of the American League Cy Young season in Houston, and Max Scherzer, who was the MVP in the big games of his era. Jake deGrum, who? They also added Japanese superstar Kodai Senga. Next up is Edwin Diaz, who is close to closing in, preparing to direct the latter. Team loaded.
The Nets: The Nets recently had a 12-game winning streak but with Kevin Durant out for at least two weeks with another knee injury, it’s hard to see them repeat that in the short term. Can Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons keep their magic until Durant returns? It’s hard to get over losing the league’s MVP, but if Durant is healthy for a playoff run, who knows?
Rangers: Broadway Blues came close last season – and you could argue that they’re an even better team this year. The problem is, the Boston Bruins have been amazing. If Adam Fox, the homegrown star from Jericho, New York, can put his stamp on the team the way Brian Leach used to do, he could give the Rangers Boston a tough series. If the guards warmed up in time, I wouldn’t bet on them.
Yankees: The Yankees have a lot to prove this season. The team successfully re-signed Mr. Everything, Aaron Judge (and Anthony Rizzo — remember Mr. Everything Else?). They have improved the cast of the casual show. And with the departure of Houston’s Cy Yong Award winner Justin Verlander, the American League may be more open than it has been in years. The problem for the Yankees is that Verlander ended up in the sweet Flushing by the Bay – so, conceivably, the Yankees would once again have to face Verlander in the postseason; Only this time, it will be in the World Championships. If the Yankees make it beyond the World Series — for the first time since the series won it all, back in 2009 — the Bronx faithful will rejoice. But if the Yankees continue to lose, to the hated Mets in the Subway Series, the emotion Yankees fans will feel all winter will be despair.
Giants: I think the giants are not far away. The team has the basics: a good general manager, head coach, and quarterback. Once they install some talented wide receiver for quarterback Daniel Jones, the Giants can be intimidating. This season, Jones has greatly reduced his interceptions and fumbles. The team added powerful passes and the offensive line somehow combined it. Add to that the right mix of Saquon Barkley in the running and you’ve got the makings of a team that knows how to win in clutch. Players will gain valuable experience after the season ends, ahead of next year’s campaign. Don’t sleep on the G-Men during the 2023 season.
The great thing about being a sports fan is that you know anything can happen. A team can come out of nowhere and compete for the championship. Remember the 1969 Miracle Mets? Or the Super Bowl-winning Jets from the 1968 season?
Miracles can happen. To paraphrase former Mets playback Tug McGraw, you just have to believe.